Vaginal Health and Rejuvenation
Updated: Dec 16, 2021
When talking about sex and sex appeal, several stunning statistics jump out. Americans spent more than $16.5 billion on cosmetic plastic surgery and minimally invasive procedures in 2018.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there were 18.1 million cosmetic procedures in 2019, and 92% of all cosmetic procedures were performed on women. The top cosmetic procedure? Breast augmentation, followed by liposuction and eyelid surgery. Not even a mention of the vagina. Women are spending a bundle to look good as they age, but may not be feeling so good about their sexual desire and pleasure.
Now let’s talk about men. The global market for erectile dysfunction drugs is expected to reach $7.10 Billion by 2024. Both top-selling Viagra and Cialis are now generic. Depending on where you pick up your prescription, generic Viagra can be as little as 70 cents a pill. It seems like the penis is getting lots of attention, but the vagina, not so much.
Women’s sexual desire is starting to get more attention, but the topic still lags behind other flashier subjects like fashion, cosmetic procedures, and men’s sexual function. It’s as if aging women are an afterthought, and certainly not a focus of the media, although research is starting to catch up.
Female Sexual Desire and Aging
Let’s get one thing straight. Many women don’t lose their need for sex as they age. They have a decrease in desire due to plummeting hormones, painful penetration, urinary incontinence, and vaginal discomfort. All of these are treatable.
In fact The North American Menopause Society released a recent study that confirmed that women still have an interest in sex, and that: "Studies like these provide valuable insights to healthcare providers who may otherwise dismiss a woman's waning sexual desire as a natural part of aging, says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. Often there are other treatable reasons, such as vaginal dryness or depression, as to why a woman's interest in sex may have decreased."
The Vagina and Aging
The vagina ages along with the rest of us, but doesn’t get the attention and focus it deserves. Let’s look at some of the age-related and childbirth changes to the vagina after menopause:
*The ovaries produce less estrogen (if any at all)
*The vaginal lining becomes thin and dry
*There is decreased blood flow to vaginal tissues
*Vaginal elasticity decreases
*After childbirth, the vagina stretches and gets looser with each pregnancy
*There is less secretion of fluids during sexual activity
*The vagina narrows and shortens
You may have no idea all of this is going on, but you certainly feel the effects and might recognize some of these embarrassing and painful consequences:
*Painful penetration due to shrinking vaginal tissue and dryness
*Urinary stress incontinence, which includes leakage during coughing or sneezing
*Many women have enhanced sexual pleasure from penetration, along with clitoral stimulation. Some women can orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. Decreased vaginal elasticity reduces satisfaction for both partners.
Vaginal rejuvenation or vaginoplasty may be the answer to many of these problems. In conjunction with bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (after consulting with your healthcare provider), you may have a new lease on your vaginal life! The great thing about vaginal rejuvenation is that it is non-invasive and painless. Here are the details:
*The procedure uses a laser, which means it is considered non-surgical and non-invasive.
*The laser treatment remodels the tissue fiber, thereby restoring flexibility and shape.
*The treatment lasts about 10 minutes, and about three treatments are standard.
*It is a walk-in and walk-out procedure.
*The treatment itself stimulates collagen proteins within the skin and muscle tissue, which creates a toning and tightening effect. Tightened pelvic floor muscles can reduce or eliminate urinary stress incontinence.
*A once a single year treatment, following the initial three treatments, is recommended to maintain symptom relief.
*81% of women who have this treatment report improvement in sexual gratification
*66% report less stress urinary incontinence
*100 % say satisfaction with treatment, and 94% would recommend it
Vaginal Health and Rejuvenation
As women, we have unconsciously come to accept not only the media’s portrayal of us but that we don’t deserve consideration for our sexual health and well-being. The conditions that contribute to decreasing sexual desire and discomfort are worth attention, research, and treatment. Your sexual health has value. Talk to your healthcare provider about bioidentical hormone replacement and vaginal rejuvenation. You will be happy you did.